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Topic: Friend inventing a sick identity after my cancer diagnosis

Forum: Family and Family Planning Matters —

A comforting place to discuss planning a family, fertility concerns, parenting children, or relationship issues with partners, siblings, or parents following a diagnosis.

Posted on: Dec 15, 2017 03:01PM

waytooanxiousmommy wrote:

I had a friend who could not handle my cancer diagnosis. Initially it seemed that she would support me. A week after my diagnosis she called me saying she was at the emergency room feeling sick and could I support her so I went and spent the day with her at the hospital while she was tested for all kinds of stuff. Nothing was wrong with her. She is very fit and in excellent physical shape. She then announced that she wanted to shave her head when I shave mine for chemo because her hair was falling out and she was feeling not great due to emotional issues and issues with family and friends. I told her I would be sad if she cut her hair as she is a young pretty girl.

I asked her to accompany me to my second chemo. She does not work and had the day off and I have done a ton of shit for her. She could have said no to going. I have other people who wanted to go with me but they would have a harder time with work etc. She arrived at my house the day before saying she had all these troubles and I supported her and took her shopping when she asked. The next day she was supposed to come over at 11:30 am to take me to chemo and she comes over to my house at 11:30 am and says she can't take me because she isn't feeling up to it. I asked her why she could not have told me that the previous night or called me earlier in the morning as I had to scramble to figure out how to get to chemo at the last minute and was 45 minutes late to my treatment. Luckily the hospital arranged for a ride home for me as they give me a lot of benadryl with the chemo so I am not really in shape to return alone and the hospital is a hike from my home.

This is life saving treatment for me and I felt like she deliberately tried to sabotage it and make me feel like her needs mattered and my life did not. I asked her to get out of my life as I felt she was deliberately trying to hurt me when I have this illness. Fortunately I have many other loving friends and family so I'm okay without this 'friend'. I am feeling the loss and sharing the story. I wonder if you guys have had friends who could not handle your having cancer? It cenrtainly weeds out the people who don't mean well by you

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Dec 15, 2017 03:47PM Georgia1 wrote:

Oh geez I am so sorry! I have not experienced anything remotely similar, but virtually all of us had a friend we thought would be supportive ending up being needy instead. But on the plus side, there have been people we never thought would offer help who surprisingly came through.

My only advice is that you get to be totally selfish now. If you want to talk to a friend, do it. But if you don't, you have every reason to just say "I'm not up for it right now" and go have some private time. Positive people can make all the difference in the world, and negative people need to get mentally kicked to the curb.

Cancer touched my breast so I kicked its ass. Dx 9/3/2017, ILC/IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 10/10/2017, LCIS, Right, 0/1 nodes Surgery 10/10/2017 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Radiation Therapy 11/27/2017 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 1/2/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Dec 15, 2017 07:21PM waytooanxiousmommy wrote:

Thanks Goergia1. Yes you are totally right. I think having cancer means that I can no longer tolerate any such behavior in my life. Being healthy means being surrounded by healthy people too. Fortunately I do have a lot of wonderful people in my life. This was just one person who left a very bad taste in my mouth

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Dec 16, 2017 07:38AM beach2beach wrote:

Hi Way,

Unfortunately you find out many things about the people in your life during a crisis. I have a good friend who was supportive of me when I got my dx, went with me to the PS to take notes and came the day of my mastectomy. A few days later , because I was not answering her texts as quickly as she would have liked, (and it was not an urgent text, I just wasnt quick to respond back) she proceeded to chew me out via texts that other people have problems, not just me and I should be ready to respond asap. F that. I gave no response. Within a day or two she was back like nothing had happened. I refuse to waste my time and patience on middle school crap like this.

If you have other supportive people in your life, work with them. I'm not saying to get rid of this friend by any means, I would just not engage in playing into what seems a manipulative way of getting you to pay attention to her. I'd check in with her here and there, but I would not let her make me feel bad.

Dx 7/28/2017, LCIS/DCIS/ILC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/8/2017 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Hormonal Therapy 9/11/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Dec 16, 2017 08:40AM Ka-cey wrote:

After my cancer diagnosis and treatment, my sister-in-law told my husband that she had cancer - she didn't.  It was an attempt to get her brother back into her life.  I don't understand what motivates people to do what they do.  Look after yourself, stay strong, be kind and keep moving.  

Dx 1/6/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2-
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Dec 16, 2017 12:08PM waytooanxiousmommy wrote:

beach2beach, sorry to hear about how your friend behaved. I do think for some people your cancer diagnosis might create some anxiety or emotional stress and it can come out in these strange behaviors. I am done with this friend. Sad but cancer is making me picky about safeguarding my peace and emotional security. She asked if she can make amends and I don't feel that I can be available for that. I just don't need this in my life right now.

Ka-cey. Sorry to hear you had a similar experience with your sister in law. I feel sad about all this.


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Dec 16, 2017 01:50PM edwards750 wrote:

Yiu find out who your friends are when things aren’t going right. It’s easy to be a friend when everything is rosy.

No that hasn’t happened to me but it did to my son. He was in crisis mode. He did have friends stand by him but was also hurt and surprised by a few who didn’t. He said he didn’t care but I know he did.

That was many years ago. Since then those friends are coming around. He has let what happened go. They are friends again. Not sure I could although I know you should forgive people.

I also think some people are just afraid of our illness like it’s contagious and they are probably scared for us too.

However, I agree you don’t need negativity in your life ever but especially not now. Shame on her for not being there for you.

Diane


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May 12, 2019 05:58AM Amyadipose wrote:

sigh, jealous of cancer. Pathetic. Get that DeeDee Blanchard out of your life. Those people are dangerous

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Oct 22, 2019 11:41AM deweygirl19 wrote:

I’m sorry you are having such a needy friend. It does seem like, once we are diagnosed, some friends do really strange stuff. I have a friend who told me she wanted to shave her head with me too because she was tired of her hair. It didn’t feel like support to me, just a way to get attention. My very best oldest friend told me to juice! And go to a holistic place for treatment, it made things very weird between us, especially because I work in oncology treatment and believe in the science of it whole hearted. People are just strange! I’m learning this more everyday since dia

Dx at 42 Dx 8/9/2019, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 9/30/2019 Lumpectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)

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